Congressional challenger Kathy Boockvar is taking a page from the book of national Democrats. Her latest television ad slams Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) over positions that she says threaten Social Security and Medicare.
The ad features an elderly couple at a kitchen table speaking sternly to the camera.
“We thought we knew who Mike Fitzpatrick was,” says an older man, named Bill.
“When he first ran for Congress he said he’d protect Social Security,” says his wife, Jean.
“But then he supported privatizing it,” Bill adds.
“And now Fitzpatrick supports a plan that means huge cuts to Medicare,” Jean says.
The allegations stem primarily from Fitzpatrick’s votes in favor of two budgets authored by vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), which would make Medicare more like a voucher system.
Supporters say reforms are necessary to protect the program from bankruptcy, and wouldn’t affect anyone currently 55 or older. Critics contend that the plan would increase out of pocket expenses for beneficiaries and result in diminished coverage.
“Fitzpatrick twice voted for a budget that the Wall Street Journal said would essentially end Medicare,” says an announce over an image of Fitzpatrick and B roll of Bill and Jean looking dismayed.
It’s Boockvar’s second television commercial of the campaign and part of her continued push on the Medicare issue.
Her first TV spot, which ran for the past two weeks, was positive and introductory. Taking this newly announced ad into consideration, said a spokesman, Boockvar’s campaign has laid out about $300,000 on TV so far in September alone.
“This has to be a new record,” said Fitzpatrick Campaign Manager Faith Bender. “Having only spent two weeks talking about herself, Boockvar must have learned pretty quickly that our neighbors realize she’s out-of-touch with our community.”
On the issue of Social Security, Bender said the Boockvar ad’s accusation was flatly false.
“Claiming Mike Fitzpatrick supported social security privatization is an outright lie,” said Bender. “I challenge their campaign to find any statement from Mike Fitzpatrick doing anything other than fixing and preserving social security.”
“Without any issues to run on, how much lower can the Boockvar campaign go?”
In 2005, Fitzpatrick said he supported the idea, proposed by George W. Bush, of Social Security that incorporated individual savings accounts. According to media accounts, he held out on final judgment in the absence of more details – but did insist that such a plan was different from privatization. Democrats and other critics disagreed, saying that they were the same. The legislative effort fizzled soon after.
Fitzpatrick’s new web video: Women’s Health
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick’s campaign released a video of its own: a two minute web ad which seeks to rebut criticism that the Congressman has taken the wrong side in the “war on women.”
The video has the feel of an extended cut, possibly the makings of a future TV ad depending on how the campaign goes. It features testimonials from two women, including Dr. Beth DuPree, a breast cancer specialist, who say that Fitzpatrick is an advocate for them in Washington.
“Mike Fitzpatrick is one of the only people inside the Beltway that’s going to understand what we really need to do for women’s health care,” says DuPree.
Two women and a male announcer tick off Fitzpatrick’s pro-women acumen (has a wife and three daughters, wrote a bill that funded rape prevention efforts, represented abuse victims pro bono, etc).
Boockvar’s campaign didn’t hesitate to note two of Fitzpatrick’s more conservative votes on women’s issues.
“This is yet another of Congressman Fitzpatrick’s flagrant attempts to distract from his actual voting record,” Boockvar Campaign Manager Jon Blair said of the video. “This is a record that includes voting in 2011 to defund Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive healthcare services for women, as well as co-sponsoring a bill along with Todd Akin to redefine rape that same year.”
Boockvar accused Fitzpatrick of seeking to “turn back the clock on women’s rights” in a web video earlier this summer. And the Bucks County chapter of San Francisco-based CREDO Super PAC recently held a protest of Fitzpatrick via a candlelight vigil at his Langhorne office.
Here’s the full Fitzpatrick video: